Xenophonbia Justified

Within the hour of writing this posting, the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, will be issuing a statement on the denial of entry of Independent Senator Nicholas Xenophon into Malaysia.  According to some friends in Australia, “they have made it into such a big thing over here.”

Perhaps, news agencies in Australia, in particular Sky News Australia, should stop being superficial as their superficial reporting shows their inability to engage in journalistic rigor, comprehend complexity or maintain impartiality.  Else their journos could come and join me write for this blog pro bono perhaps in the classifieds section.  Well, I have no classifieds section.

Now, please understand the following:

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Xenophon is being denied entry for being a “security threat” to Malaysia.  Let us not forget that Xenophon, as an Australian diplomat, broke local law for being directly involved in the BERSIH 3.0 demonstration.  The Malaysian Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 specifically mentions in Section 4(2)(a) that a person commits an offence if being a non-citizen, he organizes or participates in an assembly and should be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand Ringgit.  Of course, being Malaysian and hospitable even to foreign lawbreakers, he was allowed to go home without receiving much hassle, let alone a 10 sen fine.

Isn’t Xenophon then a diplomat, and are diplomats not immune from prosecution?

Firstly, Article 41 para 1 of the Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 clearly states that it is the duty of all persons enjoying the privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State and have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.  Xenophon went against that by getting involved in the BERSIH 3.0 rally.

Xenophon has always maintained that his interest in free and fair elections in Malaysia started with the prosecution and subsequent acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim of the sodomy charge in Sodomy 2.0 (yes, we Malaysians have a release number for everything).  It does not mean that he did not do it.  As in Sodomy 1.0, Anwar was acquitted due to technical reasons and not because he did not participate in acts of sodomy.  Read the last four paragraphs of this report.

Perhaps, Sky News Australia should ask itself if there is no thriving democracy in Malaysia, how is it that demonstrations are allowed, and if elections aren’t free and fair, how was it possible that Anwar’s loose coalition won five of Malaysia’s states including two of Malaysia’s cash cow states (Penang and Selangor)?

Judging from Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s statement on the issue as well as reports by other Australian news agencies, Australia values its good relation with Malaysia, but it is the minority and people who get little backing from the Australian government such as Nick Xenophon, and Foxtel-owned Sky News Australia that continue to believe in the lies dished out by Anwar Ibrahim.  I hope they make time to interview all the founding members of Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat where even Anwar’s membership is a suspect.  All his comrades who joined him in 1998 have left save for his wife, daughter and his trusted lieutenant whose wife is reported to have had an affair with Anwar when the latter was still a Federal Minister.  And Xenophon’s constant meddling in the affairs of another State not only contravenes the Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, but also displays his standard of being a diplomat against that of seasoned diplomats who would shy away from giving comments about their host State knowing the line that has been drawn by Article 41 of that Convention.

As such, Malaysia has the right to declare Nick Xenophon a persona non grata under Article 9 of the same Convention, and list him as an undesired person.  Australia as the sending State has no choice but to recall the person.  We, including Australian journalists, must remember that Article 9 of the Convention allows Malaysia to even declare Xenophon a non grata without explanation, and even before he arrives in Malaysian territory.

You have your laws, we have ours.  if you want others to respect your laws, learn to respect the laws of others.  You did not respect ours, Xenophon, now off you go.

55 And Still Without Political Integrity

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Malaysia celebrates 55 years of independence. For those who think that this nation only came into being on 16th September 1963, let me tell you that the name of this nation was changed to the Federation of Malaysia to include Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. Both Alaska and Hawaii joined the United States of America in 1959, but to people from those states 4th of July 1776 is their Independence Day.

For politicians who are trying hard to make the people of Sabah and Sarawak think of themselves as being separated from those on the peninsula, shame on you for trying to tear this nation apart for your political gains.

55 years on, political integrity is what we lack, and that is a big shame to us all. The thing most synonymous with politicians is corruption. I am not just talking about those from the Barisan Nasional, but also those in the loose opposition coalition that calls themselves, ironically, the Pakatan Rakyat. While money politics is still rife within UMNO, we hear of corrupt practices within the Pakatan Rakyat itself. I will let you Google for the links to these yourselves.

Corruption amongst politicians only proves one thing: that power corrupts, and absolute power absolutely corrupts. With power comes the opportunity to enrich one’s self, and to stay in power, one needs to buy his way into a recognised position. And the amount can only increase each time.

The problem lies with us, human beings. God is intangible. Heaven and hell are intangible. Rewards and Sins are intangible. Which is why some people do things without the slightest guilt.

Of course political corruption is not peculiar to Malaysia only, as it is also evident in other nations including in the west, but this is not an excuse for us to accept it as a norm. Political corruption is something that we must all take as a responsibility to eradicate, or curtail. And this is something that needs to be addressed by us as voters to determine the candidates to choose, rather than by party. UNLESS, all political parties can make one important move.

As a voter, I would like all political parties to submit their list of election candidates to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and the Royal Malaysian Police, for the potential candidates to be vetted thoroughly. Only names that have been cleared by BOTH agencies, not either or, can stand for elections. That is one way to ensure that voters are not shortchanged by political parties, especially ones that put whoever they have so they could contest.

As voters, we have the responsibility to choose the correct candidates to represent us. Of course, this process would be made easier had the candidate been cleared by the two agencies I mentioned above.

We must strive to choose only candidates who are able to uphold the Constitution, Law and Order, and Justice. We must choose candidates whom have the ability to lead, bring about development and have a certain specialisation. We should choose only candidates who are interested in serving us, not the other way round. What politicians who hold public posts now think is that they are the VIPs and the people should serve them. What they have forgotten is that they are to represent us, help solve our problems. For that reason they are the Wakils Rakyat, not Boss Rakyat. Sad to say that only P Kamalanathan of Hulu Selangor deserves the Yang Berhormat title. He deserves that respect without reservation.

We must ensure the culture of politics with integrity as our way of life as only this can ensure that we continue to live as one, and continue to enjoy this independence. Those with greed for power should be shunned by all and never be allowed to hold office, for that would be like allowing a cancerous cell to spread.

We must ensure that the Executive Branch of the Government administers this nation with proper engagements with the relevant government departments, and not run the country on their own. We have no time for members of the Executive Branch who are only interested in making money.

We must ensure that our representatives in the Legislative Branch do their job as entrusted to them by us the Voters. They must attend sittings and not play truant, and they should debate a bill through and not walk out. If they disagree with anything at all, they should vote any bill out as a registration of protest…not walk out and cheat their voters of their voice. I also hope to see the end of the Whip System as this will ensure that any bill that is to be tabled is thought through and through by all members before it is tabled on the floor. This is to ensure that the party that tables the bill, tables a quality bill that has the support of the significant majority of its members.

We must ensure that the Judiciary Branch remains independent and is free of corruption. The integrity of the Judiciary Branch is key to the preservation of the Government’s integrity.

We must remember that we, the Voters, are the important component in a traveling bus. We elect our representatives to drive the bus, but it is the Voters who determine the destination the representatives ought to drive to.

Remember, if we do not preserve the integrity of us, as Voters, and the integrity of those we have chosen as the driver of this nation, we may not see another 55 years of an independent Malaysia. Preserve integrity and choose wisely, not emotionally.

Selamat menghayati erti Kemerdekaan.